Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 21–40 | Cite as

Scientific Modeling for Inquiring Teachers Network (SMIT’N): The Influence on Elementary Teachers’ Views of Nature of Science, Inquiry, and Modeling

  • Valarie L. Akerson
  • J. Scott Townsend
  • Lisa A. Donnelly
  • Deborah L. Hanson
  • Praweena Tira
  • Orvil White


This paper summarizes the findings from a K-6 professional development program that emphasized scientific inquiry and nature of science within the theme of scientific modeling. During the 2-week summer workshop and follow up school year workshops, the instruction modeled a 5-E learning cycle approach. Pre and posttesting measured teachers’ views of nature of science, inquiry, and scientific modeling. Teachers improved their views of nature of science (NOS) and inquiry by including scientific modeling in their definitions of how scientists work, the empirical nature of science, and the role of observations and inferences in science. Their definitions of science expanded from a knowledge-based orientation to a process-based orientation. Teachers added the use of mathematical formulas to their views of scientific modeling. Using scientific modeling as the central theme was effective in providing positive influence on teachers’ views of inquiry and NOS.


Elementary Professional development Nature of science Modeling Inquiry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valarie L. Akerson
    • 1
  • J. Scott Townsend
    • 2
  • Lisa A. Donnelly
    • 3
  • Deborah L. Hanson
    • 4
  • Praweena Tira
    • 5
  • Orvil White
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondUSA
  3. 3.Kent State UniversityKentUSA
  4. 4.Hanover CollegeHanoverUSA
  5. 5.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  6. 6.State University of New YorkCortlandUSA

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